If you’re planning a well-deserved vacation this winter, think beyond packing your bathing suit or skis: consider making travel insurance the first item on your checklist. Even if you have out-of-province/country coverage through a credit card or group health plan, it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered before you head to the beach or hit the slopes outside of Canada or your home province. Reviewing your coverage could save you the stress and expense of, say, discovering you aren’t covered if you’re injured while rock-climbing, or that you’re on the hook for expenses if you need to delay your trip home due to a positive COVID-19 test.
In response to input from OMA members for more flexible, affordable travel insurance, OMA Insurance launched a plan with Manulife in 2020. Now that many OMA members are travelling again, the plan has proved very successful, said Bonita Bonn, director of insurance programs for OMA Insurance.
“OMA travel insurance provides trip cancellation and interruption coverage, which are not included in the OMA Health Plan,” she said. “It also provides options that extend beyond the daily limits of our group health plan. If there are gaps, OMA travel insurance can help fill them. Manulife was also one of the first insurers to provide coverage for COVID-19-related expenses.”
One size does not fit all when it comes to travel insurance. So, here are five things to consider when planning your next trip:
Make sure you’re covered for the type of trip you’re taking, especially if you’re planning an adventure holiday in a remote location. In the event of a medical emergency, you could benefit from a policy that covers the costs of finding and moving you to a medical facility if necessary. Travel insurance is one way to make sure an injury doesn’t end up costing you thousands in out-of-pocket expenses.
You don’t have to find yourself injured in the middle of nowhere to benefit from travel insurance. More than half of claims are related to trip cancellations. Whether you have a family emergency, a snowstorm grounds your plane, or there’s some other unforeseen circumstance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance could reimburse you for certain costs. Group health plans don’t usually include these types of non-health-related coverage.
Each province and territory has its own rules about health insurance coverage, and there may be limits to what is covered by government health insurance plans in the event of an emergency. Ground ambulance service can range in the hundreds of dollars, depending on the province or territory, while an air ambulance could cost you thousands of dollars, especially for interprovincial travel.
Review your policy to see what your insurer will cover should you or one of your travel companions test positive for COVID-19 while you’re away.
Tip: Some popular travel destinations require visitors to have travel insurance before entering their country. COVID-19 protocols and guidelines can change often and quickly, so stay up-to-date on travel advice and advisories through the Government of Canada.
There can be limitations on the number of days the coverage applies, so make sure you’re covered from the time you leave until the date you return. Coverage limits matter, too. For example, a policy with a $20,000 coverage limit might cover $14,000 for an ankle fracture in Mexico, but not $195,000 for a heart attack in the U.S. Consider getting coverage that fits within your travel budget while providing you with the protection you deserve.
Whether you need a stand-alone travel insurance plan, or solutions to fill gaps on your existing plan, consider Manulife Travel Insurance from OMA. As a member, you’re eligible for 10 per cent savings on rates*.
Coverage can include:
Contact OMA Insurance for details and to apply for coverage. You can also learn more on the Manulife website or by calling 1-877-505-9371.
Conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. Savings not applicable on the COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Plan. See policy for details.
OMA Insurance is underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife).
Some portions may be underwritten by First North American Insurance Company (FNAIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife.
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